time…too much of it ?

Well, I was thinking of all the things I have done so far to keep myself busy and motivated. The list is long and a varied one. I ‘ll try to remember everything I have done and all the things I plan to do. Please post all you do that keeps you busy and happy during these trying times. Men, Women on h4 visa and ex-H4rians are welcome to add to this post. everytime you step into something new, post it here and share your experience along the way. what you did, where, how , costs involved, suggestions / expierence / review…

Whatever it is – a good book, a simple craft, a tour, a degree, a skill …please share it with us. whether you got your Ph.D in microbiology, learnt the names of US states or just cooked your way to nirvana….tell us your story !

Help us help each other !


34 thoughts on “time…too much of it ?”

  1. The first thing I did was to learn cooking. Before I got married and came here, I never found any time ( or inclination ) to cook anything except for occassional cakes and sandwhiches.
    My mom wrote me a list of basic recipes along with a few of my fav. ones. Initially, cooking took a lot of time and concentration. Though I didn’t have too many disasters in the kitchen, I do recall a few interesting episodes – once when I made suji halua (semolina pudding) without any clarified butter (ghee) in it… and using corriander powder to replace corriander leaves.(cilantro) :-))
    Now I cook while watching TV, doing worksheets/ coloring with my little one and checking my emails. I am not a pro, I am still learning…but I manage to make edible food now. 🙂

  2. During the first six months of my stay here, I read the entire ( yes entire !) set of Agatha Christie’s novels with Hercule Poirot as the leading detective. His first published appearance was in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and his last was in Curtain (published 1975, the year before Christie died). On publication of this novel, Poirot was the only fictional character to be given an obituary in the New York Times; Hercule Poirot is Dead; Famed Belgian Detective”.

    Agatha Christie found Poirot ‘insufferable’. she felt that he was a ‘detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep’. But He was the most intriguing detective with an extremely odd appearance. Poirot has many characteristics which have made him a legend all over the world – the odd moustache, the egg-shaped face and his high opinion of himself.

    We had a good local library, well stocked with books and magazines. So, I didn’t have to buy any of these books though they would sure make a classic collection.

  3. Hey I love this site! thanks to our fellow H4 holder!! What to do? Apart from reading (books and internet), knitting, I did some volunteer work at the beginning… There are lots of places you can volunteer for (library, parks, etc). I found it amusing for some time, then I realised I need more than that, something more structured or not so loose. So started to study in the nearby college, one simple course. Now I am trapped in the desire to study a graduate degree, but not feeling like paying lots of $ on F1!! My idea was always to get to do some work as student, and I realised now I cant do it in the H4!!. Cheers. involuntaryhousewife

  4. Hi there,
    Thanks for sharing your expierence.
    Though I have read a lot about volunteering and always advise bored, frustrated h4rians to volunteer –I have never tried it. Maybe I should , We have a great public library and I love books …so I guess I am well-suited for the ‘job‘ :-). How did you find out if they have any volunteering oppurtunities? I guess just by asking them… 😉

    While doing time on h4 I studied from a school in UK. Though it was an online degree, it was great ! I had a tutor assigned to me who was very dedicated. I did assignments and was marked accordingly. It was an 18 month post graduate degree and it was very affordable (around 700$). When I was visiting my native land , I did a little bit of job hunting and realised that I had doubled my chances of getting a job and a fat pay as a result of this degree on my resume’. I wish I could use it here, maybe some day when / if I get a Green card….till then, blog on…….

    PS: If anybody wants more information on this UK school, just leave a comment with your email and i’ll email you the details. this college offers degrees in humanities; mainly communication / law / journalism / writing / english. Most importantly, The college is accredited.

    • Mahjabeen Taj said:


      I am on H4 visa and would like to pursue further studies but been trapped on whether tranfer the visa to F1 or not as my hubby has applied for Green card and also no financial aid been available to H4… Please provide the details of the colleage which offer degrees..

    • Can you please share details of the university which offered course from UK! Would be great

    • hi,

      after reading your comments here, i would like to ask you for the online degree which you have referred, my email id is tadakamallarakhee@gmail.com, i am gona sail in the same boat in a months time, so i would want to pursue that course and make use of the time in USA.


    • Hi. Even I would like to know more about this Online course. It will be great if you can mail the details to my email id nknocks@gmail.com.

  5. Having done an online degree! Congrats lady trapped. That is great. I have to separate myself from the computer from time to time otherwise I can stay all day long browsing and not even change my pajamas! Please do send me the details of the school. Thanks.

    About volunteering opportunities, the best source is the local library, they gave me a list. Some require a minimum time commitment, in hrs/day and months. The other thing that I am doing is of course exercising. Running and some indoors sports (sit ups etc) are good, I notice that when I do these things my mood changes completely.

    With all the time in my hands, I would love to talk to my neighbours more (I am latinamerican and I could do that for a job!), unfortunately they are all busy so I have to think of individual tasks!

    Last thing is that we should not loose hope to find a job/employer that sponsors our H1B. If our husbands made it, why not us? I know it is hard without the green card, but we should keep looking and networking to find the right employer.

    Greetings to all!

  6. :-)) good to hear from you again. I agree, internet can be quite addictive !

    I guess, I WILL try the library…after the snowy winters are over.

    Good for your that you can stick to an excersice regimen. The more time I have , the more I back away from excersicing. But I do go for long walks…they can be stress busters too.

    Luckily, I also have a good bunch of neighbors but most of them have very busy lives. So, I get to see them only while checking my mail or on weekends.
    As for H1 visa…well, there is no harm trying, as long as we are realistic and prepared for rejections…sounds cruel but I wish it wasn’t true.

    As for the school – It is called the London School of Journalism. http://www.lsj.org
    It is very good. Their assignments, studynotes and tutors are just amazing. Check the distance learning module…they have a wide array of courses to choose from.

    The next thing I did on H4 visa – was I taught myself – how to OIL paint on canvas. I always wanted to paint so i researched the internet… got a canvas, oil paint, brushes, thinner and a brush shampoo from Michaels. .. turns out, I am quite a painter – now people ask me If I would sell my paintings :-)))…

    • Dear Trappend!,

      Thanks a ton for sharing the precious infomation and keep writing, even after u get ur job… i wish u all the best!!


  7. Nice blog! I landed here while looking for Meghna Damani’s blog. Good to see several inspiring and encouraging blogs by H4. I have been through this long back and can very well understand what it feels like. I also opted to learn pottery, worked at school library and then took up courses at community college (only affordable option available).

    It’s been a long journey and now I am an entrepreneur and my business is able to create some fantastic opportunities for dependent visa holders. It’s a great feeling to be able to add smiles to some dependent visa holders!

    I hope to be able to help more and more women as we grow. Good luck to each one of you!

  8. a trap with no way to escape ..chk out my feb 2009 post on pyar do pag….

  9. Hi Trapped,

    Nice blog!

    I need some inputs on the LSJ course you did. I am considering taking up one a course at LSJ and would really like your feedback. I’d like to know if the degree is recognized in the US and considered on par with a degree from a US University. And has it been any helpful in terms of finding employment, etc? Please do let me know whenever you can. It would really help me decide.

    Thank you!

    • trapped said:

      hi prabha,
      i am not sure if i replied to you…well, LSJ is london school of journalism and i did a internet journalism course. well, it is definately enriching and worth every cent. but i did not look for a job in US on its basis ….being on h4 there is not point. but i did check it out when i was in India, and that course had a good standing there.
      learning and knowledge never goes wasted so if you looking for doing something worthwhile on h4 …this course is one of things i would reccommend.
      take care

  10. I am married to an H4rian (meaning I am the H1 visa holder). It’s only been 4 month, but I am sure the excitement of the new country and new life will soon dwindle. This is a great site for her and I to refer to. One of the ways she keeps her self busy is by painting and sketching. Will give updated as the days, and months pass:)

    • trapped said:

      hi adi,
      so , how has it been so far? I am sure, she is doing a good job of keeping herself busy…

  11. I just found out this blog. Loved it!

    Well, first I tried to cook (but my husband would come home for dinner, so…), then I just kept watching Food Network. After that, I started reading all kinds of books you can imagine, while writing my own blog. After I gained “some” weight, I decided to buy some exercises dvd and now I exercise every day – to keep me busy and in a good shape! 🙂

    • hi thaisa
      i just looked up your blog …i think it is in spanish 😦 …or some other language….nevermind that. hope to see more of you on this blog !

  12. trapped said:

    hi thaisa,
    thanks for commenting on the blog… well, food network can be quite addicting !! you could send me the link to your blog, i sure would like to have a peek !
    take care.

  13. Yep, my blog is in Portuguese – I’m writing mainly for my family and friends. sorry about that! =)

  14. Hello..
    may i have the name n details of the UK school you have mentioned here.. i would really appreciate it.
    my email id is: livinginmydreamworld@gmail.com

    Thnku so much .


  15. this page hasn’t seen a lot of activity …! well, i have told you about my success stories but it is time to admit some failures. I tried to knit a scarf once…a very simple pattern ( apparently) but i just couldn’t get it right . after redoing it for the nth time, i gave up midway ! it is still tucked away in my closet behind my shirts. maybe someday I will have the courage, patience and not to mention, the skill to start it all over again.

  16. Hey ,

    I stumbled on your blog by chance …and it is indeed a big surprise to see an echo of my feelings by so many others trapped in the same situation.
    I kind of felt guilty for having those feelings as I felt that this is a life most people back home dream about . Insufferable ,frustrating and Infernal -that’s all I fell about being an H4 visa holder. I guess Involuntary housewife is the best term to describe this situation. I appreciate your efforts as I was planning to start a similar blog.
    I am an architect ,worked for two years and got a Masters from IIT Kanpur. After a few months of job I got married ,moved to US with my hubby and ever since I find myself in the same state of gloom and despair which was exponentially grown by demise of my parents.

    I have joined a bowling league which is a good stress buster, trying to get another masters if I get scholarship, regularly visit public library , volunteered once for an International Conference, Keep digging food blogs and try new dishes regularly. I downloaded some exercise and fitness videos from the internet and am trying to reduce some weight.

  17. hi,
    can anyone of you suggest me some course online whereby i could get credit for my degree..i am looking for something in media and communications. I am in colorado and already have an MBA and 4 years of exp in banking in India.

  18. Potential H1B holder said:


    I think I found right what I was looking for. One company is currently sponsoring me for a H-1B visa so my wife and children will have a H-4. One personal problem is that I’m extremely precautious so I’m trying to know what are we going to face once the excitement of our new reality cease. So here I am!

    I have one doubt:
    If she makes stuffs -say cakes, jewelry…- and she sells it on the Internet… is it considered a job? Will she be able to, legally, do it?

    Thank you!

  19. Hi Potential H1 b holder..

    Just answering your query..she is not legally supposed to do all that..nethg that an H4 gets paid for is illegal in the US..i am an H4 visa holder too 🙂 and i had researched all these options when i came here…but this bloghas people who r more experienced so they wil be in a better state to give an advice…

  20. Aruna Shiva said:

    I could see so many people in H4 feeling trapped and cribbing about it. Let me open your eyes on few things.
    1) You made the choice to marry someone working in a “rich” country and be their dependant. You didnt give weightage to a person working hard in your own country where you have had freedom. Here, it is partly clear that it is greed for money. Also, you chose to come here for the same reasons. These things comes as a package. Nothing can be customized in it. This is the price you pay for the so called greed or decision. But apart from this, this country offers loads of security, better life style, hygiene, chance to learn to be independant etc.
    2) Also understand that this is the first step that you take into independant lifestyle. You people mistake it as being “Trapped”. We are always used to stick on to someone always and now, pure independance is somehting that you cant take. And also think “only work” is freedom. Being independant is tougher than being dependant. That is the challenge you face now.
    3) Its not a cake walk for people with other visa types in this country. H1Bs, L1s have toiled and suffered loads before settling down here. No DL, no car, no food at times, no pay during bench, consultants who screw them… all that. Now, being a dependant of a successful H1B or L1 holder, you should really be happy instead of crying over it. Your life is way better than the initial months/years of the H1Bs and L1s.
    4) Like many said, you can volunteer. But the better bet for professionals is to apply for a work permit immediately so that you can start workin as soon as the next OCT hits.
    5) There are people who want to come here and fail miserably. I myself came in as a H1B and was successful by gods grace. I had put in 5 years of effort for that. Nothing comes easy anywhere. The pain and effort definitely brings the fruit.

    I apologise if I sound crude. But I really want people to understand the facts straight instead of falling in the black hole of self pity and worry. Only when you accept and understand the reality and ready to face it, you can move ahead. Feeling trapped when you actually are not will only immobilize you and curb your strength.
    I think the ones who are intelligent would definitely understand.

  21. Hi Everyone,
    I’m just surprised to c the ppl echoeing my feeling here…. I read all the comments and the replies posted . I too spend time in public library… just looking to spend my time more effectively n efficiently… give me some tips frnds…

  22. Hi,
    I started reading these blogs and that really motivated me to come up with an idea of forming an association of all those who are on H4 visa. We have so much talent and knowledge and we all are in the same boat. We should all get together to share our talents and make something substantial out of it.
    I have a PhD in Nutrition from India and have been in US since 2010. However, I have done numerous things to keep myself busy but the plight of sitting at home and not working anymore depresses me every now and then.
    Guys, we all can make a huge difference if we get together. We can do wonders for our community and for fellow H4 Visa Holders. I live in California, near San Fransisco. I would like to welcome all those who are in San Fransisco Bay Area to reply to this post and let me know if this is a good idea to meet and have little planning done in order to see how we can take this association to a different level. For all others who are far from Bay Area, we all can do it online.
    Need your opinion, ideas and support to make this a success!!

  23. Atampreet Singh said:

    -sigh- ……. Live in U.S. is nothing like I imagined it would be……….. I am a guy, Mech. Engineer from India, living in Ann arbor, MI from last 6 months. Will soon have H1B by October 2013, if all goes well.

    After reading all the comments of the ladies on this page, I feel little bad for my to be wife…. What am I going to bring to her life : Sadness, and boredom??

    Will write again in some weeks, once I have a different mind set maybe…

    Right now, feeling bad for my to be wife.. hoping for things to be better..

  24. I got my EAD last week. But I was on h4 for 5 years. I’m a UX / UI Designer working full time for 6+ years before coming to the USA with husband. As soon as we won the H1 lottery, I started doing freelancing hoping I can continue the same after coming to the USA. But little did I know that h4 visa means there is NO JOB you can do to make money.
    I wasn’t about to let some unfair law kill my career though. I did everything I could legally do to keep it alive in the USA. I started writing tutorials and making free themes and templates. I volunteered to make websites for non profit and religious organizations, took part in competitions etc. I became #1 on 8 world wide web design competitions in the past couple of years and became the runner up 17 times. I took part in 40 total. I won a monetary gift once and because of my h4 status I had to pay about 35% of it as taxes. I used the remaining towards buying a car for myself, so I can take my daughter to pre-school. My husband pay monthly for my car but it felt better to contribute at least a bit. I feel that is a right USA should grant to us. The right todo a job. I didn’t learn driving until I absolutely had to (take daughter to pre school). If I can go back and change something, I would learn to drive way sooner. Now I do grocery shopping and run small errands. Driving is fun.

    We(me and my husband) started making free mobile games recently. That is so much fun. Some are just for our daughter to play.
    I was 4 months pregnant when we came here. So everything I did, I did while taking care of my baby.

    I’m so happy that president Obama decided to give work permits to h4 visa holders in the future. Congratulations to you all my fellow sisters.

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